Veterans' Learning Collaborative
College Courses Designed with Veterans in Mind
A sense of camaraderie and the commitment to leave no one behind that exists in the military is created again in the classroom.
Pursuing higher education is a major step in transitioning from military to civilian life. When you enroll at Pasadena City College you'll find a community of faculty and staff dedicated to helping veterans achieve their education and career goals.
The Veterans' Learning Collaborative is a learning community. You must register in all the classes during the same semester. All the classes are normally payable by the VA. Please check with the PCC GI Bill certifying office in L112 to make sure classes are on your education plan. The Veterans' Learning Collaborative (VLC) is a coordinated set of 12 units of general education classes for first time college students selected to promote your success at PCC.
You will be taking a full-time (12 units) program of college courses and the Boots to Books Class (veteran's transition course) that will introduce you to the challenges of academic life, the classes includes: Coun 12 (Boots to Books), Coun 10, English 1A and Anthropology 1 and Anthropology Lab classes.
The Veterans' Learning Collaborative (VLC) is geared for veterans studying with other veterans. These courses are designed for veterans. This is a veteran's learning community, with a group of people who share common emotions, values or experiences, and who are actively engaged in learning together from each other.
You will take classes with the same students for the semester, giving you the chance to form a campus "team."
All VLC instructors have volunteered to teach VLC classes, and are very veteran-friendly. They are specially trained instructors who work together to support your learning and the achievement of your educational, career, and life goals. The VLC faculty team members collaborate in their teaching to provide integrative learning. They work together to make these classes meaningful, challenging, and relevant to your lives.
Counseling 12 (Boots to Books Class)
A college success course designed to help veterans transition from military to college life. The class focuses on the strengths of the veteran, not their weaknesses. This class integrates personal and professional growth and will assist you in developing career and educational goals while giving you college survival skills. Instructor: Dr. Harold "Doc" Martin (a combat Infantry veteran).
Course offers veterans an opportunity to develop their writing and critical thinking skills.
Anthro 1 & 1L - Can be used to satisfy the Biological Sciences GE requirement or the Social Science requirement for transfer and AA/AS.
There is a weekend fieldtrip designed to give you an outdoor/service learning experience as part of an integrated learning process supporting classroom assignments. All expenses and transportation for the retreat are paid for. Book stipends are available for those attending the fieldtrip.
VLC is open to student veterans who need to fulfill their general education core requirements. Student veterans are enrolled in cohort classes with others who share similar interests and experiences.
Interested in Becoming a Part of Our Team?
Contact the Veterans Resource Center
Feedback From Veterans Who Have Taken the Boots to Books Class
"Overall I feel this class has really helped me gain a stronger idea of what I am doing in college as well as has helped me build strategies I believe will help me throughout my life."
"I gained a better sense of who I am . . . it helped me realize that there was more to me than what I thought . . . The most important discovery . . . I am in control of my success . . . . I hold the power to guide my life."
"This class is good for the beginner college student, as well as the students who seem to have lost their way. As one of the latter, it's refreshing to hear, read, and discuss what we should be doing, or what we're doing wrong an how to fix it. . . . I have learned in this class it's OK to ask for help (and it's) a lot easier to get over myself than I think."
". . . this was my first semester of college and . . . . I am going to be using everything that I learned from this class in the near future. . . . if I really take a look at it, I did improve (in all areas). . . . I learned that I am not afraid to ask for help . . . and that I am more scheduled in life and in school."
"When I started this course, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to succeed in school, but now I feel a lot more confident in myself and my ability to do well in school. . . .I've learned I am responsible for my successes and failures; but I don't have to handle them alone. . . . Most important aspects of Couns 12: all veterans, including instructor; plenty of time spent talking, venting, asking questions . . . . self-improvement focused assignments; active participation encouraged (and sometimes very strongly)"
"I enjoyed being around vets. Made me feel like I still belonged."
"I have learned not to be a victim."
"I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the classroom since the beginning, having a room full of vets; having an instructor with a sense of humor and experience helped a lot; I liked how the class was focused on improving for school and for personal life."
"I didn't want to believe that you have to continue to better yourself after college was complete. But everywhere you may go, learning will always be a major part in lifelong learning. So I am glad I understand that now. . . "
"When I first walked through the doors at PCC into a classroom full of veterans I did not know exactly what to expect. At that time I was in a pretty low area of my life where I would self medicate by drinking heavily. (In this class I later) managed to not only learn new coping skills that do not involve alcohol or other substance but leaned about personal respect. . . . (employing interdependence) was a skill which I lost once I got out of the military. . . . But by attending this class an learning more about myself I was able to overcome this difficult challenge and become a better person. . . . After taking this class I know that I will be much more successful, and also become more adaptive and responsible."
"Upon starting this class I thought I would not learn anything, it was described as a transition class from 'boots to books.' I feel as if this is inaccurate. While this class does deal with some of the technical skills that one needs to make it in a college setting, and in life . . . . I feel that this class helped me with communication, my emotionality, and organizational skills, just to name a few. . . . The communication with my significant other is still not perfect, but at least we are trying. Before (this class) I would not tell her anything that bothered me, now I can open up to her. I have struggled with my emotions a great deal during this class, I learned what some of the symptoms for depression, PTSD, and TBI are. I could then analyze myself and figure out if they apply to me. And also try to figure out why do I feel the way I do? . . . . In closing, it wasn't as cut and dry as I thought it would be. This class teaches you how to be a better or more enlightened person. I learned how guys and girls are different . . . . I learned how to choose an occupation that was right not only for my temperament but for my emotions as well. And, once I get this job I like, to keep it and not to take on more than I can handle, an how to deal with people of different emotional structures than myself. I especially liked the chapter on love, not only the love that we need from others but within ourselves. Everything stated in this class will continue to help me throughout my life, treating the people I care about better and when I have kids, being a proper father figure for them to look up to."
"As time went on here in this semester I started realizing that this pass or fail thing wasn't on anybody's shoulders but mine. So I started to believe in myself and I started employing more interdependence."